The Celtics had been toying with opponents in the past, especially at home, and had been playing competitive games that sometimes went down to the final minutes, especially in wins over Philadelphia and Golden State. But Tuesday at Charlotte, the Celtics punched the Bobcats early, the Bobcats had no answer the Celtics cruised to an 18-point win and let the rest of the league know they are getting close to their imposing ways.
Ray Allen got his shooting stroke back and the Celtics pounded the Bobcats despite just 8 points from Paul Pierce, a testament to their balance and depth.
Paul Pierce -- Of his eight points with two were important 3-pointers that set the tone in both halves. Knows exactly when to impose his will and tonight he played a complimentary role.
Kevin Garnett -- Made the most of his 26 minutes with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists and you can feel his confidence growing by each game.
Rajon Rondo -- Had nine assists but five turnovers. Didn't try to do too much and he canned both of his free throws.
Ray Allen -- When he hit two 3-pointers in the first 3-plus minutes, you could tell it was going to be a good night. He also drained all 10 free throws and looked for his offense more aggressively.
Kendrick Perkins -- Kept his cool, dominated the paint and scored at will inside. He doesn't back from taller centers and had little trouble pushing around timid Tyson Chandler.
Rasheed Wallace -- The technicals are becoming a concern -- he has eight -- but he is playing more in control instead of launching 3-pointers.
Marquis Daniels -- Needs to be more aggressive at times but did drop in a jumper and a layup in the first half.
Eddie House -- The jumper is beginning to fall and his confidence is rising. And he will be needed much more later in the season.
Shelden Williams -- Not much to talk about in his 21 minutes. But he did play more than usual because Kevin Garnett was in foul trouble.